A 26-carriage freight train carrying about 200,000 litres ((44,000 gallons) of sulphuric acid and diesel fuel has derailed in a rural area in Australia.
An exclusion zone is in place following the accident which happened on Sunday morning, 20km (12.4 miles) east of Julia Creek, in north-west Queensland.
The extent of any acid leakage remains unclear Queensland Police said and the cause of the accident is not yet known.
The Independent reports:
Authorities have declared the situation an emergency under the Public Safety Preservation Act, and a two-kilometre exclusion zone is now in place around the site.
Queensland Police said there was “minor leakage of sulphuric acid and spillage of diesel fuel” at the site.
Aurizon Holdings Limited, the rail freight company that owns the train, told ABC News three drivers sustained minor injuries and were taken to the Julia Creek hospital.
A spokeswoman for Queensland Rail said no crew has been able to access the site yet as the Flinder highway leading to it has been cut off due to flooding.
Queensland Rail said they are “working closely with relevant authorities on the environmental response as required” and the extent of damage caused by the derailment is “yet to be determined”.
A Julia Creek Hotel publican, David Wyld, told ABC News the road was blocked by rail workers and police immediately following the accident, and “you could smell the sulphuric acid where they actually blocked it off”.
Incredible images out of the train derailment near Julia Creek. Flood waters are stalling cleanup effort. pic.twitter.com/bO46kktQ6D
— Chris McMahon (@ChrisTheJourno1) December 27, 2015